Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy was having a hard luck year, to put it mildly. While his 5.63 ERA coming into Saturday night's tilt with the Marlins wasn't pretty, McCarthy was the victim of some bad luck, and still hadn't put a notch in the win column. In his last start against the Phillies, McCarthy threw eight shutout innings and was in line for the win…until Heath Bell blew the save. Two starts ago, McCarthy registered a quality start, allowing three runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Dodgers…but got a no decision, as the Diamondbacks could only muster three runs of their own until the ninth inning. Three starts ago, he left the game after six with a two run lead…only to see the Giants score five runs in the eighth and ninth innings off of David Hernandez and Bell. Last night, McCarthy took matters into his own hands. The 29-year old threw a complete game shutout for Arizona against the Marlins, and the Diamondbacks needed every inch of that complete game since they couldn't put a run on the board after Gerardo Parra led off the game with a solo homer. The win was McCarthy's first decision in a month, and I guess the fourth time was a charm for him this year.
PIC OF THE DAY
Astros athletic trainer Rex Jones, awesome mustache and all, looks over Houston shortstop Marwin Gonzalez. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Indians 5, Mariners 4. The Indians are now all alone in first place, and this dramatic win was a huge reason why. Cleveland led 4-0 going into the eighth when starter Zach McAllister allowed a two-run homer to light-hitting shortstop Brendan Ryan to cut the lead in half. Ruh roh. Rich Hill got out of the inning for the Tribe, and Chris Perez came in to save the game for McAllister, but promptly allowed back to back homers to Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak to tie the game at four and drive Indians fans up the wall. That rage subsided quickly, as in their end of the ninth, the Indians wasted no time. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a single, and an Asdrubal Cabrera double put the team in prime position to get the winning run across. Nick Swisher was intentionally walked to bring up Mark Reynolds, and he hit a soft grounder that Ryan smothered at short and fired home, a fraction of a second too late to get Kipnis. Talk about close calls.
Pitching Lines of the Night: McCarthy's full line: nine innings, three hits, no runs, two walks, five strikeouts, 99 pitches. Sure it's against a Stanton-less Marlins team, but YOWZA. Kris Medlen dazzled the Dodgers in a 3-1 Braves win, allowing one unearned run on two hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out five. Chris Capuano was nearly as good for the Dodgers, giving up one run on five hits in 7 1/3 frames, walking none and striking out five. Bronson Arroyo shut down the Phillies in a 10-0 Reds win, giving up five hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings while walking two and striking out six. Eric Stults outdueled Jordan Zimmermann in a 2-1 Padres win over Washington, allowing just one run on four hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking two. Zimmermann gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits in eight, striking out six without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: David Oritz blistered his former team in Boston's 12-5 win over Minnesota, going 3/4 with three runs, six RBI, a walk, and two homers. In the Rangers' 7-2 win over the Tigers, Elvis Andrus went 5/5 with three runs, two RBI, two steals, a double, and a triple. The Rays scored six runs in the ninth to beat the Orioles 10-6, and Matt Joyce led the charge by going 3/5 with two runs, five RBI, two doubles, and a homer. In that Reds blowout win in Philly, Joey Votto went 4/4 with two runs, two RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer. The White Sox fell 12-9 to the Angels, but backup catcher Hector Gimenez went 4/5 with two runs, three RBI, and his second homer of the year.
Other Games: The Cubs smashed the Mets 8-2. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 7-2. The Astros beat the Pirates 4-2 in 11 innings. The Brewers beat the Cardinals 6-4 in ten innings. The A's edged the Royals 2-1. The Rockies pounded the Giants 10-2.
Today's Games: Felix Hernandez takes on Justin Masterson in Cleveland. Wade Miley starts for the Diamondbacks in Miami. RA Dickey takes on CC Sabathia in the Bronx. Mike Minor gets the nod for the Braves against the Dodgers. Matt Moore starts for the Rays in Baltimore against Chris Tillman. Homer Bailey starts for the Reds in Philly against unbeaten rookie Jon Pettibone. Jeff Locke starts for the Pirates against the Astros. John Lackey will toe the rubber for the Red Sox in Minnesota. Kyle Lohse starts for the Brewers in his old stomping grounds of St Louis. Travis Wood starts for the Cubs against the Mets. Jake Peavy takes the hill for the White Sox against the Angels. AJ Griffin will start for the A's against the Royals. Dan Haren takes on Andrew Cashner in San Diego. Doug Fister and Derek Holland will duel in Texas with the Tigers desperately looking for a four game split.
National TV: Dodgers-Braves (1:30, TBS), Tigers-Rangers (8:00, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.